Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Million Dollar Babies

Sometimes we are asked what life is like with four kids under the age of five and I reply, “We are more satisfied than a man with a million dollars.”
“Really?” comes the surprised response, “How’s that?”

“The millionaire wants more.” I answer.

All joking aside, we are just taking life one day at a time.  To have more children or not, that is the question.  When we were dating, I was hoping for eight one day and Bob was thinking four and a half so we’ll see where we end up…in other words, we’ll see who the real boss of this family is.

The decision of how many kids to have and how close or far apart to space them is something each couple must prayerfully consider when they decide to start a family.  It’s a great idea to seek (or at least appreciate) input from friends and family as each couple weighs out their options but ultimately, it is a choice we each make and must live with; so why not make it a good one?

That being said, let’s give each other a break (I’m preaching to the choir here also!) if someone else decides to have a different kind of family than the kind we chose.  We have four kids close together and happen to really love the way this is working for us.

Are we busy?  Hell yes.  Do we regret it for a second?  Hell no.

(Yes, I feel quite strongly about this!)

There are families that like their children spaced at least two or more years…great.  There are families that feel two kids are just right…awesome.  There are couples that enjoy a life of insanity for a bit and space their children a year to 18 months apart and breed like bunnies (ha!) and are happy with that…neat.  Some couples like to have a kid every five years until their oldest starts college…wonderful.  

My philosophy on children has always been and will always be this (in spite of the circumstances or who they are born to): they are truly and without a doubt a BLESSING from the Lord.  Each child is born with a calling from God and with unlimited potential to change the world.  Children are precious and priceless.

We may have taken on this adventure of parenting in a way you and your sweetheart did not.  We may have spaced them closer than you think is normal (besides, what IS normal but a setting on the dryer?!).  Both of us could perhaps debate the pros and cons of having different types of families but if we both have no regrets and have total joy about our lives, why bother?  Why not just let other people be different from us and appreciate that God doesn’t force any of us into a mold?  And if God doesn’t even force us into a mold then why should we try to force each other into one?

Here is a great story that I cherish in my heart about a man named William Borden.  The year is 1904 and he is graduating from high school with more than good grades, he was loaded to the gills with family money.  Most graduates receive a card or small gift after the ceremony but Will got his socks knocked off when his parents presented him with a round-the-world-trip ticket to celebrate (and no, he didn’t do it in 80 days).  

His travels brought him face to face with hundreds of hurting people in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.  He wrote back home and expressed his new-found desire to be a missionary.  This notion was scoffed at by all, “You would be throwing your life away!”  His friends warned him.  His quiet answer to this was two words he wrote in the back of his Bible, “No reserves.”

With this trip still etched in his memory, he returned home and four years later graduated from Yale University.  When he was presented with many different high-paying job offers, he turned them all down and quietly added another note to his Bible, “No retreats.”

With a heart that was fixed on reaching the Muslim people in Asia, he traveled to Egypt as a missionary to begin his language studies.  While there, he contracted spinal meningitis and within weeks, 25 year old Will was dead. The news reached America and made all the papers as a wave of shock was felt around the country by the thousands that knew and loved Will.  When his Bible was later opened, two more words were found written under his previous entries, “No regrets.”

Will was a man of no regrets.  He made choices that were perhaps very different from those of our own.  His life took him in a direction that broke the mold of what people expected a man of his education and money to take.  Yet in the end, he had chosen wisely,

“No reserves.  No retreats.  No regrets.”

A life of no reserves, no retreats or regrets is a life that is made up of choosing what really matters.  It’s a life lived to the fullest with joy about the calling and the family God has given you a passion for.  Each of us has a unique calling and I think God likes that He broke the mold for everyone of us.


Zazzy Episodes said...

I love those three phrases, and what great advice and words to live by.
Tara have as many babies as close together or far apart as you two want and forget what anyone else says, you have a beautiful family.

Zazzy Episodes said...

PS, I love the new blog layout/background and family picture.

Tara Cole said...

Thanks for the awesome feedback, Rachel!! I have my friend, Ange, to thank for the blog help--I'm learning as I go (;

thesavingmomparents said...

Great post Tara! Before we had kids we thought we were the ones to decide when we were having kids and how many, etc. Suddenly one day we had revelation that for us we need to leave it totally in God's hands. Now He is totally in control and we feel so much more at peace and safe. Funny how surrender does that. No worries...that's what I'd like my Bible to say. :)
Love the new layout. ~Jessica